Robert Norman Ross or Bob Ross was an American painter, art instructor, and television host. He created and hosted “The Joy of Painting,” an instructional television program that aired from 1983 to 1994 on PBS.

The Air Force veteran from Florida simply aimed at helping people make masterpieces in just 30 minutes through his TV show. His show earned a cult-like following due to his motivating messages and deep appreciation of all earthly wonders. The inspirational painter would have turned 76 years old on Oct. 29.

He died of lymphoma in July 1995. Here are some quotes by one of America’s greatest painters on his birthday.

  1. "That's a crooked tree. We'll send him to Washington." from "The Joy of Painting," on politics
  2. “In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. You can bend rivers. But when I get home, the only thing I have power over is the garbage.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  3. “You need the dark in order to show the light.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  4. “Look around. Look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere—you only have to look to see it.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  5. “Just go out and talk to a tree. Make friends with it.” from "The Joy of Painting," on communing with nature 
  6. “They say everything looks better with odd numbers of things. But sometimes I put even numbers—just to upset the critics." from "The Joy of Painting"
  7. “How do you make a round circle with a square knife? That’s your challenge for the day.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  8. “I remember when my Dad told me as a kid, ‘If you want to catch a rabbit, stand behind a tree and make a noise like a carrot. Then when the rabbit comes by you grab him.’ Works pretty good until you try to figure out what kind of noise a carrot makes…” from "The Joy of Painting"
  9. “We tell people sometimes: we're like drug dealers, come into town and get everybody absolutely addicted to painting. It doesn't take much to get you addicted." from "The Joy of Painting"
  10. “The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  11. “Water's like me. It's laaazy ... Boy, it always looks for the easiest way to do things.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  12. “Oooh, if you have never been to Alaska, go there while it is still wild. My favorite uncle asked me if I wanted to go there, Uncle Sam. He said if you don't go, you're going to jail. That is how Uncle Sam asks you.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  13. “I really believe that if you practice enough you could paint the 'Mona Lisa' with a two-inch brush.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  14. “If I paint something, I don't want to have to explain what it is.” from an interview with the New York Times
  15. “We artists are a different breed of people. We're a happy bunch.” from "The Joy of Painting"
  16. “We don't make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.” from "The Joy of Painting"